One of the most important things you need to know before you go out to eat is how many people you are eating with. This past Sunday, we had a woman come in and request a table for 8. Smaller tables were put together to for the party, and she was seated. I don’t think a time will ever come when I’m not baffled by customers responding to “Hi! How are you doing today?” with “Diet Coke,” but when they do, it generally gives me a pretty good idea of how the meal is going to go. This woman sat and sat and sat some more, drinking her diet coke so quickly I was tempted to bring a pitcher to the table, and shaking her glass at me for refills, while waiting for the other members of her party to arrive. 45 minutes later another person comes in and says that they will be having 10 people, not 8. Another table is added to accommodate this, and she got her “water with light ice, 4 lemons.” The next person arrived shortly after and says that they will now be having 11 diners. Another chair is added, another drink delivered. A half hour after this, 3 more people come in . Now they say it will be a party of 14, so we add another table. At this point, there are no more tables to add if they add more people. The restaurant is busy, the room they are in is otherwise full. They had complicated drink orders with constant refills, and it took a total of an hour and a half from when the first woman was sat until the whole party had arrived. And, of course, it ended up being 16 people, not 14. I was able to add extra chairs, but an additional table was impossible, and Oh did they make a scene about it. They interrupted me while I was at another table taking an order to ask how long I thought that table would be there, because they were hoping to get the space themselves, and interrupted a family’s meal to ask them if they thought they might be leaving soon because they “needed that table.” They were rude from beginning to end, refused to address me in complete sentences or make eye contact with me, and made other tables so uncomfortable that complaints were made to management about their behavior. They were so dramatic about the tight space that they refused to take their elbows off of the table so I could set down a hot pizza because “there’s no room,” and laughed when I said it was burning my hand. All in all, they were in the restaurant for 4 hours. Of course they split meals, asking for extra of anything that was free. The total bill for 16 people was only about $110 (I’ve seen higher bills for a table of 4 in my restaurant). And then they wanted “change for this $50, change for this $20, put $8.40 on this card, and he’s paying $6.72 and needs change, etc.” The few kids in the party were getting restless, climbing back and forth under the table, yelling, and running around. One bumped into another server and spilled 2 drinks on her. Did they apologize? Of course not. At the end of all of this, my total tip was $6 and change, and a card telling me that I needed to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for assuming I haven’t, and happy Sunday to you too. Jerks.
I am a follower of Jesus and a server and I must admit that I don’t work Sundays often but when I do then I know I’m not taking home big tips.
For me it’s not about money and that is the primary issue I see in these stories which is evident on both sides; servers and patrons.
I don’t serve people because I want to make money, I serve people because I love people and I want to give them a great experience that makes them feel valued BECAUSE that’s how Jesus makes me feel when I ponder the mystery of the Gospel and how much grace God has extended to me.
When I go out to eat, I do my best to treat people well and tip well because I want them to know how much God values them BECAUSE it’s all about Jesus and the value He places on their life with His precious life.
I may be preaching to the choir but I see this as a GOSPEL issue. We as Christians can serve only one God; it’s either money or Jesus. Personally I would much rather have grace than financial security.
I’m a pizza delivery driver in Oklahoma. I live in a community with a lot of churches, therefore a lot of church events and church goers. I’m a christian myself and I also have two other jobs, a stockman for a hobby store and a volunteer firefighter. I’m also a single dad and am very proud of all these things. I make a lot of deliveries to churches most over 200 dollar orders and requiring me to carry a lot of food up stairs, down hallways, and rather long distances due to the sizes of these churches. I can’t tell you how many times I carry at least a hundred pounds of food to these churches and am basically spit on and seen as a lesser human being by these churches and their congregation.and then they rarely tip. These people are literally in the place they so proudly claim their love for god and walk all over me. I delivered to a church I had attended before with a friend and they knew me, I was actually excited to deliver there and was so disappointed by how rude and demeaning they were to me. I was called a lazy kid who made bad choices, and then had the audacity to ask me to attend their church. This is how I feed my son and pay for the gas to respond to calls. Didn’t Jesus say the poor man that you fed was me?
Not much I can add to what has already been written, from the rude behaviour, to the unruly children running through the restaurant screaming like wild animals, to the chest thumping declarations of “I DON’T DRINK!”, and the religious tracts “cleverly” disguised as money, I’ve experienced all of that. The large camping parties, the attempts to get free food, while at the same time disparaging my abilities and professionalism, and asking deeply personal questions, as if I would want to share anything more than your food order with you. Wait staff are servers, NOT servants, Trying to cost them their job so you can get your food for free is about the biggest jerk move you can pull. I HATED working Sundays, the Christians are by far the worst, rudest, inconsiderate, and cheapest group of people I have ever had the displeasure of waiting on. I grew up going to church up through my Sophomore year in High School, and I was in a few of those groups, I often think that I was destined to become a waiter to pay for the sins of the horrible people I dined with during that time. While I appreciate the spirit of this site, I can’t help but think the people it is geared toward will take away the wrong message, and instead of seeing the 200 + comments flowing in as a sign of something wrong, will instead feel like it is an attack, and fight back by making waiters lives even more hellish.
I put myself through college making homemade bread and pastries and selling them at the Farmer’s Markets in the area. It was the only income I could get that would not interfere with school. I worked 40 hours a week between Thursday night and Sunday noon. So, by my Sunday market, I was exhausted. One man used to regularly come to this market, stand and eat all my samples, and instead of actually buying something, would give me a pamphlet explaining why I’m going to hell for engaging in commerce on Sundays. He was always complimentary–”Your bread is so good! If I could spend money on Sunday, I’d sure buy some from you!”
Thanks, but you know, compliments don’t pay the bills. I am graduated now, with multiple degrees, working in a career position. I got my family off of welfare. I’m proud of the work I did, and my family still tells stories about the nightmare customers–and he is definitely one of them.
A few years back I worked as a server making $2.13 an hour plus tips. Tips paid my bills, bought groceries and allowed me to take care of my kids with pride. The paycheck I received from the $2.13 an hour usually bought a tank of gas after taxes. As a mom, I never had problems taking guests who were families especially of small children. I thrived with them because I understood. I always enjoyed working through out the week, because no matter how hectic, chaotic and stressed out it could be… I enjoyed the people. Except on Sundays. Others servers would try to exchange their Sunday shifts with ANY other server that didn’t have to work it.
No one wanted to deal with ‘The God Squad’…….
One particular Sunday I had a party of 26 come in with their Pastor. I was the ‘lucky’ one. I greeted them immediately and took their drink orders…. but I didn’t get back fast enough. I took too long filling up all 26 glasses of ice and beverage and getting them back to the table and to the appropriate person. I was informed that I was not organizing my time well. I smiled. And then I took each individuals order. I was doggedly determined to get it all right and suggested or offered items such as extra dressings for salads, extras for their potatoes etc. I brought extra napkins for the table, refilled their drinks constantly…smiled at their comments and answered any questions aimed toward me. I was run ragged. Even though I had suggested the extra items earlier without success every time Id return to the table it was “Could you bring me some more….” And before I left I would ask if I could bring anyone else something. Of course at that moment no one needed anything..until I came back….*sighs* I kept repeating to myself, “This too shall pass”
After two and half hours they began to leave…. I kept their glasses filled, I pre-bused the table and offered dessert and coffee and kept myself available to their every need. As the last person left I returned to the table and saw that they had left without tipping at all but the pastor had left me a prayer card. My feelings were hurt and I was a bit angry as during the whole time they had been my guests they questioned me about my home life, my belief in God and my children. So, I picked up the card and walked out to the front lobby where they had gathered before leaving. I approached the Pastor, card held to him and said, “Sir? Unless you can tell me how to broil, bake, saute,,grill or otherwise prepare this card to feed my children? You need this more than I do. Thank you for coming. I hope you had a good visit and be blessed.” I gave him the card and softly walked away. Before the manager could berate me in any way- I gave him the ‘look’ and spent the rest my shift in the kitchen washing dishes….
From that on I took every single family for every single server as long as they took care of “the God Squad’… I can take crushed crackers and smeared spaghetti seats any day!
I have worked in the food service industry and know first-hand the annoyance and dread that comes from working a shift on Sunday. It was my first job while in high school and I always make sure to treat my server (also clerk, fast food cashier etc) with the same respect I would expect for myself because I have been there.
I’ve also been burnt by “the church” and only recently started attending mass with my husband (I was raised Baptist) We are hoping to let our daughter grow up in good church community, but some days I’m not so sure.
My in laws will often offer to take us out to lunch after services in order to spend time with us and their new granddaughter. Most of the time it has just been the four of us (plus the baby) My in laws have worked as servers in the past and tip generously. I also make sure my baby isn’t being disruptive to other diners. One Sunday however, we went to a restaurant and were invited to sit with a group of our fellow church members. Big mistake.
Our server was nothing but friendly, but several in the party refused to acknowledge or return the favor to him. They acted as if he was an annoyance whenever he came by to deliver food, refill drink or in any other way disrupt their conversations. Then one lady made a huge stink about “mushrooms in her omelet” They were apples, but no she”knew” they were mushrooms. They looked like mushrooms. She called over the waiter, the cook, even the owner showed up. She was insistent that there were mushrooms in food, even though the ingredients in the item listen on the menu did not call for mushrooms. The other diners at the table, eating the same item, stated there were no mushrooms and when one asked out of concern “Are you allergic?” “No, I just can’t stand mushrooms” and proceeded to whine like a child about how horrible she feels about mushrooms.
God, I wanted to disappear. I was mortified. If I could have slid down my chair, under the table and out the door, I would have (but that would be skipping out on the check) I felt awkward and embarrassed throughout the rest of the meal. Even though I hadn’t done anything wrong, I felt embarrassed to be sitting with these people and anxious that our waiter would assume I acted as rude as that woman. This kind of behavior drove me away from the church in the first place. After that, I told my husband I’m not going out to lunch with people from church ever again. These same types of church ladies are the ones who want to rush up after mass and beg to hold my baby all smiles and sunshine. But I’ve seen their true colors. I’m getting turn off by the church again. If these people can’t be a loving witnesses of Christ to a helpful stranger (or anyone for that matter!); I rather not be associating with them or letting them near my daughter. I know this story may sound trivial to other tales here, but even just one outburst of rudeness and disrespect can make a lasting impression. Practice what you preach.
Thanks bunches for giving the food service community this platform to express their thoughts. I have been in the restaurant industry for over 30 years. I have read the post on your site and I agree with many of the posts. I am fortunate to have many long time customers that make my job enjoyable and I have been blessed to have made a living working as a server. As with any job there will be customers who are demanding and downright ridiculous at times. We are only there to feed you. Please remember that when you go out to eat. Corral your children. We carry large heavy trays of hot food. Keep them in their seats. Please do not put every electronic device that you own on the table., we also serve liquids. Hate to ruin yours. When you speak to ANYONE in customer service remember that we are someones mother,father,daughter or son. We are not your servant …..we are your server….BIG DIFFERENCE… Sunday’s do pose a particular problem. Maybe it is the fact that some folks did not get the message that was being delivered at their place of worship or perhaps they did not stay long enough to feel the joy in their heart. I’m not sure, but I do know that a percentage of Sunday customers probably need to go back and give it another try. Now that’s not to say that all of our patrons are unpleasant and disagreeable. Most are fantastic., but if you leave our establishment unhappy due to our bad service or our rudeness please address this with a manager before you leave so that we can correct any problems. Do not bring them back in the next time for a new server to deal with. To wrap this up: Each day, Sunday or not:
Be kind, Be courteous, Be patient,Be friendly, and if all goes well you will relieve the same in return. God has blessed me and graced me with another day on this earth so I can find no reason not to share good human compassion and love with the folks that I encounter. Just a thought.
I have been in the restaurant industry for 16 years. I have worked every job description the industry has to offer. The majority of my 16 years has been as a Server but I have done everything from Dish Washing to General Manager. I want to start by saying that the majority of Sunday-after-church Christians are no different than any other diner on a Sunday afternoon, with the exception of alcohol consumption, and there is nothing wrong with that.
That being said, the percentage of Sunday-after-church Christians that defy the norm have ruined the Service Industry’s perception of all Sunday-after-church Christians. I can tell countless stories of personal experience that sound like every other post on this fantastic website you have created, but I will limit it to mostly my opinion rather than my stories.
THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!!!!
In my experience the majority of negative happens when Christians are in large groups. Almost a Mob mentality. I rarely have a problem with the families, or the couples, or the single diners. But in groups, they get arrogant, and rude, and hypocritical, and sometimes down right mean. They will come to me on their way to the bathroom and ask me to put wine in a coffee cup so they can hide it from their group. A certain high profile Christian celebrity picked up a tab for a group he was with of almost 20 Christians at a restaurant I worked at and tipped me with a Bible tract that looked like a $1,000,000 bill when 18% would have been close to $100, and then I had to listen to them laugh and watch them high 5 each other for being so clever at saving my soul as i cleared empty water glasses from the table. I have been told the cliche “God only gets 10% why should i give you 15%?” Ive been treated like a servant, been asked extremely personal questions that they have no buisness asking, etc. etc.
Years ago i decided to change my way of thinking about having to work on Sundays. I go to work at 10am after getting off work at 11pm the night before, and i put on my smile, and i find the humor in the experience. I stopped trying to work for tips on Sundays. My Sunday shifts are there for me to have fun and socialize with my coworkers. Once I gave up hope for the Sunday-after-church Christian Groups, I began to enjoy my Sunday shifts again. I am still super friendly and still give the absolute best service possible, but when i approach the table, all the awesomeness that I exude is an act. Deep inside my soul, I have lost hope and respect for them completely, and they very rarely prove me wrong.
I worked art a Mexican restaurant for over two years and the worst day of the week was Sunday for lunch. Around 11:30 am the people would pour in to the restaurant and fill your section. After many specialized orders and multiple refills of tea and water( something about the church must make you thirsty) , the bill would be presented for payment and either they would sit and talk fr an hour or leave such a mess from their multiple children you worked your tail off to be ready for anOther table, all for a few dollars. An excellent Sunday would yield 50 dollars at most. Average tips being 3 or 4 dollars, I soon refused to work Sunday mornings anymore. I give excellent service to my tables because I place myself where the customer is, but my energy is worth 15%!! Demanding crowds, hurried environment,low tips. Church crowds are the worst!!!